The Tri-City Herald’s Chris Mulick digs up the dirt on state Rep. Shirley Hankins (R-Richland):
Longtime Richland state Rep. Shirley Hankins has repeatedly used the power of her office in the past five years to muscle state and local officials into directing business to her two daughters’ struggling tire baling company.
A Herald investigation shows the Republican lawmaker’s efforts to promote Northwest Tire Recycling have ranged from carefully indirect to downright blunt, and the tactics raise questions about abuse of power.
[... Hankins] denied she’s ever used her office to promote the daughters’ business [...] but multiple interviews, letters, e-mails and other documents reveal that Hankins has actively promoted Northwest Tire Recycling in Olympia and the Tri-Cities.
Great reporting by Mulick, but will his paper follow up? Central WA blog The Other Side demands that both Hankins and the region’s editorial boards do the right thing.
The papers in the region should call for her resignation. And, of course, the only honorable thing for her to do……resign.
Hmm. I dunno. I mean, all Hankins really did was abuse the power of her office to benefit her daughters’ business, and as far as editorial-worthy scandals go, that pales in comparison to this session’s notorious Dogs-In-Bars Controversy.
As for my colleagues on the right — who fancy themselves watchdogs of government corruption — you just know that if Hankins were a Democrat they’d be screaming for her political necklacing. But I’m not gonna hold my breath waiting for cries of outrage from my friends over at (u)SP.